Speakers Bureau

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Chester County Historical Society offers a selection of programs highlighting its museum and archival collections. The programs draw upon the expertise of its professional staff and their research on various Chester County topics.  Contact the individuals listed below or for general inquiries contact 610-692-4800 or info@chestercohistorical.org.

Program Fees
At your meeting place: We provide the projection equipment. You provide a surface on which to project.
Not-for-profit organizations - $100 per program
For-profit organizations - $150 per program

At CCHS as part of a special interest programs:
$12 per person (includes regular museum/library admission). Minimum number of attendees is 10.

To make a reservation 
Call the person listed below for the topic in which you are interested.

Chester County History A PowerPoint-illustrated lecture explores the complex relationships between people and the land where they live and work. Learn about people from many heritages and walks of life who came to live in Chester County, the area’s rich agricultural heritage, social and reform movements and the wheels of industry. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@chestercohistorical.org

Chester County Ceramics The soil of Chester County has nurtured a number of pottery traditions from slip- or sgrafitto-decorated redware to fine Tucker porcelain. This PowerPoint-illustrated lecture traces the styles, methods of manufacture and uses of ceramics made in Chester County from the 18th to late 19th centuries. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692 4800 ext. 257, eendslow@chestercohistorical.org

Chilling Reality: Chester County's Arctic Explorers [NEW] Frostbite...polar bears...perpetual darkness...ship-crushing ice...death-defying journeys...These may sound like the makings of a Hollywood feature thriller. But this is the Chilling Reality of Chester County’s Arctic explorers. Explore the stories of four Chester Countians in their quest for northern achievements over an 80-year time span. You may discover that, hidden within their stories of endurance and bravado, are many lessons we can learn about our own 21st century views of the Arctic. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692 4800 ext. 257, eendslow@chestercohistorical.org

Genealogical Research at the Chester County Archives The Chester County Archives houses and makes available the historic county government records of Chester County. This program provides an overview of the types of records available at the Archives, the information they contain and how they are indexed. Records discussed include probate, taxes, deeds, vital records and court records. Emphasis will be given to records dating from the 1700s to the early 1900s. Contact: Laurie Rofini, Director of Archives, 610-344-6760, ccarchives@chesco.org

Meeting for Equality: The 1852 Pennsylvania Woman’s Rights Convention The first Pennsylvania women’s rights convention was held in West Chester’s Horticultural Hall on June 23, 1852. Among the rights the Pennsylvania meeting claimed for women were the right to vote, the right to receive equal pay for performing the same work as men and the right to study the sciences. This slide-illustrated program discusses the men and women who played a major role in the convention and provides an overview of the issues that they raised. The program also highlights the connections between the early women’s rights movement and other social movements such as abolitionism and temperance.
Contact: Laurie Rofini, Director of Archives, 610-344-6760, ccarchives@chesco.org

How Old Is That Photograph? How old that picture in the attic? How can genealogists research photos from their family collections and date them? This PowerPoint lecture program will introduce a methodology used to assign a date range to historical photographs. Research tools to be demonstrated will include identifying the photographic process, how to research the photographer's imprints and visual clues found in costume and background details. Examples of the research process and the sources used to accurately date the photographs will be fully explained. A handout sheet will outline the methods used and will include a bibliography of sources for further information. Time will be allowed for questions and individuals may bring one image with them to be dated. Participants will come away with sharpened powers of observation and a new appreciation of the photographic medium. Contact: Pamela Powell, Photo Archivist, 610-692-4800 ext. 260, ppowell@chestercohistorical.org

Photographic Treasures from Our Collection This lively PowerPoint slide show features some of the unique historical photographs found in the Chester County Historical Society photo collection. Learn the fascinating stories behind them. Some surprises include candid detective camera photographs taken in the 1880s. Learn what the earliest photo in the collection is and why a gentleman had his portrait taken in jail. Photos depict landscape and architecture from across the county as well as people in all walks of life. The program can be tailored for your region of the county. Contact: Pam Powell, Photo Archivist, 610-692-4800 ext. 260, ppowell@chestercohistorical.org

Pieces and Patterns: Quilt History and Chester County How are 19th century quilts made in Chester County similar to or different from quilts made elsewhere or at different times in history? This illustrated slide lecture explores materials, construction and styles of Chester County quilts and their place in the history of quilted handiwork. It also describes a 2003-2004 county-wide quilt documentation initiative. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@chestercohistorical.org

Samplers and Schoolgirl Art From darning samplers to mourning pictures, needlework sheds light on the lives of 19th century women and girls from Chester County. Learn about the distinctive styles associated with the Westtown School and other female academies. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@chestercohistorical.org

Women and Social Reform in Chester County Slides and narrative trace the development of local women’s involvement in three reform movements: abolitionism, temperance, and women’s suffrage. Topics covered include the role of Quaker women, the 1852 Pennsylvania Woman’s Rights Convention and local women’s participation in two campaigns to amend the state constitution (prohibition in 1889, women’s suffrage in 1915). Contact: Laurie Rofini, Director of Archives, at 610-344-6760, ccarchives@chesco.org